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Which is the Best Optional Sociology or Public Administration

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The biggest step in the journey of UPSC preparation is all about selecting an optional subject for Mains. There are a total of 48 optional subjects available including the core optional subjects and literature optional subjects. It is a lot confusing for aspirants to choose any one from them.

In many of the Optionals available in the UPSC exam, two of the most preferred choices are sociology and public administration but now the question is Which is the Best Optional Sociology or Public Administration? If you want to know the answer then read the full blog to learn how to select optional subject for UPSC by Ashutosh Sir of ProdEgyIAS.

Things to Keep in Mind While Choosing Optional in UPSC

While selecting an optional subject for UPSC there are a few things that students should keep in mind otherwise it really becomes hard to change your optional in the later stage of preparation and it can hamper your UPSC preparation as well. 

Based on the experience of Ashutosh Sir, who is known as the best teacher for UPSC in India students should keep in mind the syllabus, difficulty level and their interests while choosing an optional subject. 

Students should only select the best optional subject for UPSC after doing thorough research and they should also take help from their “UPSC mentors” who have gone through the same phase once while selecting optional during their UPSC preparation.

Which Optional is Better Public Administration or Sociology?

If you want to know whether sociology or public administration optional which one is better to choose then you must have to go through the pros and cons of sociology optional as well as the pros and cons of public administration to come to a conclusion.

Let’s know the advantages and disadvantages of sociology and public administration based on the experience of Ashutosh Sir then we will see which optional has more pros in comparison to another.

  • Syllabus Overlap with GS Papers: 

The public administration optional syllabus for UPSC overlaps a lot with GS papers mainly with general studies papers 2, 3 and 4 while the sociology optional syllabus overlaps a little with GS paper 1 only. That means when considering the Syllabus overlap with general studies public administration wins with a greater margin.

  • Ease of Understanding:

If an optional subject is easy to understand and the questions are straightforward and simple then it’s good to go. In the case of public administration, the same case follows while for sociology the story is quite different as questions are moderate level and it’s somewhat difficult to learn.

  • High Success Ratio:

If in one of the UPSC optional a lot of students are succeeding then it’s considered a high-scoring optional subject in UPSC and public administration belongs to the same category. While the success rate of sociology is less in comparison to public administration.

  • Syllabus Completion Time:

UPSC aspirants must definitely keep this point in mind while choosing an optional that how much time the optional subject will take to cover. As the syllabus of public administration is less and easy it takes a few months to cover all the topics while sociology can take a lot more time.


Hence, if we conclude all the points mentioned above based on the analysis then public administration is the best optional subject in UPSC when compared to sociology. The chances of success in UPSC through public administration are higher. However, if someone has too much interest in sociology then they can go with it as well.

FAQs on Sociology and Public Administration for UPSC

Public administration is considered the high scoring optional subject in UPSC Mains for a lot of reasons. Some top reasons are- it’s easy to understand and the syllabus takes less time to cover.

A subject is considered good optional based on a lot of factors and keeping in mind those factors sociology is left behind in the race and public administration takes the crown as a top choice for optional in UPSC. However, if someone has an academic background in sociology then they can choose it.

While choosing your optional in UPSC you should do in-depth research on various pros and cons and then only make your final decision. If there are any doubts then students can directly reach out to Ashutosh Sir for personalised mentorship as he is always there to help students.

Yes, public administration is quite easy to understand as topics are mostly simple to grasp and anyone can easily cover the syllabus with the help of top public administration optional coaching for UPSC like ProdEgyIAS.

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